I got a text from Claudia last week, and in the few short words I saw on my cell screen, I knew this had to be shared on Juicy Olive.
Via email, Alvin had informed her that afternoon he was bringing a “choking hazard” to her for their first date. Whaaaaat? Yep – you read it correctly. Claudia asked me, “what’s a choking hazard?” My best guess was that weird ball-gag thing that Ving Rhames and Bruce Willis are forced to wear in “Pulp Fiction,” and I was really hoping I was wrong. I told her to keep her phone nearby during her date and to have an escape plan if necessary.
So, after telling him she really likes all food except for Latin American and Mexican food, Alvin takes Claudia for tapas. Riiiight. Tapas. While technically not traditional Latin American or Mexican cuisine, tapas are about as close as you can get. You’d think that Alvin just didn’t care or wasn’t paying attention, but it turns out that those were his two strongest qualities. Evidently, Alvin cares – a lot – and he is very detail oriented.
They sit down at the tapas bar, and Alvin presents Claudia with her “choking hazard” gift. What is it? A wooden whistle. You know, the kind that typically has a logo or quippy saying on it? Evidently, Alvin thought it was a riot that there was a “warning: choking hazard” sticker on the package; I know – it’s a total hoot…hilarious…so funny. Alvin asks her to blow on it, and Claudia obliges. (She told me that the “Twilight Zone” music started slowly playing in her mind at around this time…wonder why?) Like a child giving a parent a present, Alvin was gazing at Claudia with a look that screamed, “I need your approval!” Claudia thanked him and told him the gift was really nice, which apparently was the right thing to say, as Alvin pulled three more wooden whistles out of his man-purse. THEN he pulls a marker out of his bag and asks her to write names on the whistles. Then he wanted her to play with the whistles – like doll babies.
That’s right. For those of you just joining this program, Claudia’s date gave her children’s musical instruments to name and play with throughout their date. Yep – fun, fun, fun.
Following the melodious dinner, Alvin produces – yet again from his man purse – a spreadsheet that details all of the bars playing live music that night, the start times of each band, the style of music, the cover charge and the approximate cost of a drink. Incredulous, Claudia selected a band whose name sounded interesting and off they went. This seemed like it would be a perfect distraction for Act Two of the date. Not so much. Turns out, the venue and band Claudia selected weren’t that popular. Including her and Marvin, there were two other patrons, the bartender and the ensemble. That’s all.
To be filed in the category of It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time, Claudia decided the very best option in the midst of the What the F^#* Date would be to drink a whole lot of vodka cocktails. Instead of working its magic, this made Alvin far more annoying and the music far more painful.
When the night ended, Claudia was sure Alvin knew this was a no-go. Surprisingly, he didn’t. Dear Alvin went in for the kill – invited her to his apartment, wanted to kiss her, asked to see her again soon…the whole shebang. Not surprisingly, Claudia bolted from the car, made up an excuse to not see him again and has avoided his calls ever since.
I know, I know. Everyone is probably saying, “what a bunk move, Claudia – you need to at least give him the courtesy of letting him know you’re not interested.”
You know what I think? She doesn’t need to do that. Sure, it’s a nice and courteous move. But one date in, it’s not a requirement. And while I’m not advocating being a complete jerk , I am saying that standing up for yourself and your needs is best. Given how uncomfortable the sole night with Alvin was, I think Claudia made the right decision. She didn’t want or need to subject herself to his weird behavior again. Cutting bait early and not giving him any indication to read it otherwise was fine.
So the moral of the Claudia tale this week? Do the right thing…for yourself. A wacko date may be funny to recount to your friends, but putting up with the wackiness any longer would be cause to blow the whistle.